[1]
Free Presbyterian Forward Movement: New Church Opened at Banbridge

This beautiful new church building was opened for the preaching of the gospel and for the defence of the faith on Saturday, 7th September, 1974. Full report inside. [2]

"Beauty for Ashes" at Banbridge

High on its vantage point on Ballymoney Hill, firmly carved into the hillside, Banbridge Free Presbyterian Church gazes in beauty and splendour over the town below. A Phoenix risen from the ashes of the former church building destroyed by fire just over three years ago, it marks yet another milestone in the history of the Free Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

The new building was officially opened a momentous occasion shared by many people from many areas. The first sermon from the new pulpit was preached by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley, MP, Moderator of the Presbytery.

The opening ceremony, performed by the Rev. S. B. Cooke, Armagh, Deputy Moderator, was a triumph for the builder, Mr. Dessie Biggerstaff. It was just three years ago, in June, 1971, that a temporary wooden structure was opened at the bottom of the site on which the new church now stands. Two months later it was completely destroyed in a blaze which was started maliciously. For the past three years the members of the Banbridge congregation have met for worship in Banbridge Orange Hall, very kindly placed at their disposal.

COMPLETED IN NINE MONTHS

Plans for a new and permanent church building were immediately put in hand, and at the beginning of this year the construction work began. In just nine months the building was completed, at a cost of 47,000. This was a tremendous achievement by Mr. Biggerstaff, a member of the Lurgan Free Presbyterian congregation, who was undertaking the building of a church for the very first time.

One glance at the beautiful edifice is sufficient proof of the success of his efforts. Designed by the Rev. Frank McClelland, of the Tandragee congregation, the main church building, with gallery, has seating accommodation for 300. On the afternoon of the opening, a congregation of over 450 filled every available space. So many wanted to share the occasion that 100 had to watch and listen to the proceedings on close circuit television in the prayer room upstairs.

Also upstairs are two Sunday School rooms, with another Sunday School room downstairs, in Addition to the Minister's room and the kitchen. A spacious car park provides excellent parking facilities in front of the church, on the site of the former building.

The service was conducted by the Rev. Fred Buick, minister of the church, and [3] other visiting ministers who took part were Dr. Paisley, the Rev. Wm. Beattie (Dunmurry), the Rev. Alan Cairns (Ballymoney), the Rev. Ken Elliott (Portadown) and the Rev. S. B. Cooke (Armagh). The soloist was Miss Pauline McCandless, B.Sc., Hillsborough.

MANY INVOLVED IN THE WORK

Mr. Buick, in expressing thanks to all who had been concerned in the building of the church, mentioned the Architect, Mr. McClelland; the contractor, Mr. Biggerstaff; Mr. Robert Heak, Tandragee, who supplied the pulpit and pews; Mr. Isaac Hazley, Tandragee, who undertook the electrical work; Mr. Victor Bowman, Banbridge, windows and glazing work; Mr. Thomas Crozier, Lurgan, painting; Mr. Robert Porter, Banbridge, who supplied the carpet and chairs; Mr. James Johnston, Thornhill joinery Works, Lisburn, who supplied the Communion Table and Chairs and two tables for the Vestibule; Mawhinney Bros., Banbridge, who supplied the foundation stones on each side of the front door; Mr. Graham Stronge, Belfast, who supplied the television apparatus; the Rev. James McClelland, who supplied and installed the microphone and P.A. system; Luxaline, Banbridge, who supplied the kitchen furniture; Mr. Eric Elliott, who undertook the plumbing; Mr. Robert Martin. Banbridge, who supplied the general hardware; Mr. Jack Shannon, Banbridge, who undertook the excavation work; and the ladies who had worked so hard to have the building spic and span for the opening.

Mr. Buick expressed thanks to the Session and Committee of the Banbridge Free Presbyterian Church for their hard work and devotion to all matters concerned with the building; to all those who played any part in the opening of the church; to the Committee of the Banbridge Orange Hall who had put their hall at the disposal of the congregation for the past three years; to Mr. John Dickson, who had supplied the pulpit and organ used during the services in the Orange Hall; to the organist that afternoon, Mrs. Lorna Hanna, Ballymoney; and to the soloist, Miss Pauline McCandless.

He conveyed apologies from the Revs. John Douglas (Moneyslane), John Wylie (Lurgan), Frank McClelland (Tandragee) and Ian McVeigh (Coleraine), and Mr. George Annett, an Elder in the Banbridge Church, all of whom were unable to be present.

GRATITUDE FOR GIFTS

Mr. Buick expressed thanks to all those who had given gifts of one kind or another to the church. He mentioned the Canadian Friends of Ulster, who had sent a subscription towards a new Communion Table, and all the members of the congregation who had subscribed towards the purchase of the close circuit television set.

Gifts from members of the Banbridge congregation included the pulpit fall, the pulpit Bible, the Rose bowl for the [4] Communion Table, five Communion chairs, and organ for the Prayer room, the text for the pulpit wall, the desk and chairs in the Minister's room, six kettles, two boilers, 200 cups, the reading desk in the Prayer room, lawn seed, an electric carpet cleaner, an electric hot water geyser, mirrors, trays, doormats, four half sets of China, the offering baskets, the table in the prayer room, a hand carpet cleaner, hand towels, buckets, brushes, shovels, carpet tiles in the Session room, and cloths for the Communion Table.

Gifts from friends included a clock, two tables for the vestibule, the visitors' book and pen and the church notice board. A number of gifts of money, ranging from 1 to 100, had also been received.

The cost of building the church, Mr. Buick told the congregation, was in the region of 47,000. The building fund now stood at 13,290, with 33,710 still required.

Greetings from the Free Presbyterian Presbytery were brought by the Rev. Alan Cairns, Ballymoney, who congratulated Mr. Buick, the Session and Committee and congregation of the Banbridge church on their tremendous achievement. "This building," he said, "is indeed beauty for ashes, and it will look to the glory of God in the coming days."

THE OIL OF JOY FOR MOURNING

A portion of Scripture was read by the Rev. Ken Elliott, Portadown, and the sermon was delivered by Dr. Paisley. "There was a time," said Dr. Paisley, when our people in Banbridge mourned. We had set up a suitable building on this site, but it was burned down and left in ashes. We mourned for it. But God has given the people of Banbridge a beautiful building and we braise Him for it.

"God has given us joy today. We have got the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."

Sounding a note of warning, Dr. Paisley told the congregation. "In these days we must keels our minds alert against the enemies of the gospel, so that no softness can creep in. It would be so easy for us to become like some of the modern soft, evangelistic churches in our land, without a goal."

He outlined the tests which the church would be required to face in the coming days - the danger test, the revenge test, the bribery test and the fellowship test.

He warned, too, of the dangers of stopping while on the path of God's command, and pausing to congratulate ourselves on what we have accomplished. "Then," he said, "we are ready to fall an easy snare into the hands of the wicked ones."

Christians today, he warned, were too close to the evangelical movement, looking for recognition from their fellow men rather than from God. "This is a fight to the death for the existence of God's faith on earth," he told the congregation. "You are the custodians of this faith. Guard it with your life.

"God," he continued, "has told His Church to do certain things, and if we don't do them his curse will fall upon us." [5]

PRESSURE TO COMPROMISE

He warned of the danger of ministers retracing their steps, and prayed that God would make them strong enough to resist this. He warned too, of the pressures on a minister to compromise, and prayed that this would not happen. "May we be alert, firm, and strong for God," he added.

The service closed with prayer by the Rev. S. B. Cooke, and tea was then provided by members of the congregation.

A congregation of some 200 attended the evening service at which the Preacher was the Rev. Alan Cairns, Ballymoney. Mr. Cairns delivered a stirring address.

The offering from both services, which included a number of financial gifts, totalled the magnificent sum of 5,007, which will help in no small measure towards the building fund.

Gospel Mission in Banbridge

Looking back upon the previous two weeks of gospel campaigning we can truthfully say that the Spirit which moved the Psalmist to pen the words of Psalm, 47 : 1, has also captivated the hearts of the Banbridge congregation - "O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph." On the Lord's Day afternoon of September 8th at 3-30 p.m. Dr. Paisley began the three week gospel mission, which was to be abundantly blessed of God. During the opening nights the messages were directed specially towards the people of God, and to God we give every bit of the glory for what was accomplished.

To God we "shout with the voice of triumph" for His mighty stirrings in the hearts of His own people. It was on the Thursday night meeting of that first week that the first break came, with over 20 believers making a public stand to follow the Lord in complete consecration. What a joy flooded our souls as we witnessed an open confession of sin and a great turning unto the Lord for a deeper spiritual walk. But to add even more to the blessing of that experience, it was blessed to see a sinner come to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, and a backslider coming for restoration. Truly the Lord was in the midst and to His name be all the praise.

As the nights slipped past one felt that the Lord was standing by our side as the gospel messages were sounded [6] forth, and the unsaved invited to take Christ as their Saviour. So we can "shout unto God with the voice of triumph" as far as the unsaved and backsliders are concerned also. At the time of writing, two weeks of the mission have passed, and we praise the Lord for eight souls gloriously saved and four backsliders restored to the Lord thus far.

As we enter into the final week of the campaign we look forward for even greater things from the Lord as the Rev. Gordon Cooke of our Rasharkin congregation comes along to preach the Word of God. Thank God for the soul saving message of the gospel! This is only the beginning and the end is not yet praise the Lord.

New Church Hall Opened at Kilskeery

The new Free Presbyterian Hall at Kilskeery, to which there was strong objection at the planning stage has been opened.

The ceremony was performed by Dr. Ian Paisley, MP, Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church, in the presence of several hundred people from many parts of Fermanagh and Tyrone and farther afield.

About half-a-dozen RUC men were on duty controlling traffic and a UDR patrol was in Kilskeery village.

The new building, costing approximately 4,000, was built almost entirely by voluntary effort on the site given by Mr. Robert Edwards. It was designed, by Mr. Ivan Morrison, a committee member of Bethel Free Presbyterian, Church, Enniskillen.

The hall is surrounded by a car park for about 40 vehicles, and it is intended that it should be extended later when Sunday School rooms and a kitchen will be provided. At present the hall has accommodation for more than 140 people. The outside walls are finished in white limestone chippings and the fascia and woodwork painted a mustard colour. A new electric organ has been installed.

"AN OUTREACH"

The Kilskeery congregation, composed of about a dozen families, has been described as "an outreach" of Bethel Free Presbyterian Church at Enniskillen by the minister, Rev. Ivan Foster, who said that it was intended that Kilskeery should eventually be constituted as a separate congregation with its own minister.

On his arrival Dr. Paisley was requested by Mr. Ivan Morrison on behalf of the Kilskeery congregation, to [7] formally declare the new hall open, and he afterwards unveiled and dedicated two brass plaques at the entrance to the main hall one to Mr. Robert Edwards and his family for donating the site and the second commemorating the opening by Dr. Paisley.

The hall was filled to overflowing and the proceedings were relayed to a second congregation in a large marquee in the car park. A considerable number of people gathered outside.

The opening prayer was led by Rev. Kenneth Elliott, Portadown, who prayed that Kilskeery would become a centre of great revival. The organist was Miss Myrtle Vance, of Lisbellaw.

A welcome was given to the visitors by Mr. Foster, on behalf of the Kilskeery congregation, and he went on to refer to the history of events leading up to the building of the hall. When the first Free Presbyterian Church in County Fermanagh opened in Lisbellaw a trickle of folk from the Kilskeery area began to arrive and greatly increased until there was quite a flood of people. In those early days in the small clutch in Lisbellaw they were pleased to see the people coming from Kilskeery.

OPPOSITION

Among them were many people who had left other churches in their desire to bring their children up in the gospel. As a result, weekly meetings were arranged in Feglish, but there was opposition. It was therefore decided that something would have to be done to provide a permanent building for the people in the Kilskeery area.

Plans were submitted to Tyrone County Council, Mr. Foster went on, and permission was obtained from the local council for the sewerage system. It looked as if they were going to get approval.

"Then the opposition was mounted," he said. "The petitions were got up. We were accused of building a hall which would be a major traffic obstruction, and there were all sorts of reasons. I think history was made many times in connection with this hall.

"On one occasion the whole County Council came out to meet here on the site to see whether it was possible to give planning permission. On that particular day a lot of people had it in their mind to go out at the same time as the Councillors arrived. The road was very, very busy for a little while. One of the major objections to the site was that it would create too much traffic.

"They had first said why build a hall, there will be nobody to go to it? Then they said there will be too many people going to it. There was this comic opera on the day the Council was here: husbands out on their bicycles, wives in the cars and sons on the tractors," Mr. Foster added amid laughter.

In spite of all this activity, permission was given and the project which began in June, 1972, had reached the stage where they had opened their new hall.

HAPPY

"I am happy that though fire surrounded people in this place, and there [8] was great opposition against them, God sustained them," said Mr. Foster. "He looked after the people here and courageously they have emerged from that atmosphere; they are a strong people that is why they are Free Presbyterians.

"You will not get the people of Kilskeery going back again. They intend to go on until they have their own church established here.

"The people of Kilskeery say 'We want to do this ourselves.' The work has been done almost exclusively by the men and women of this area who belong to our church. We rejoice and we give high praise for what God has done among the people here, and we rejoice in this hall today. We thank God for this building and the declaration that they intend not only to be Christians, but they intend to give others every opportunity to hear the gospel and be saved just as they did."

He expressed thanks to all who had laboured in the erection of the hall and assisted in other ways, particularly Mr. Thomas Armstrong, a member of Tyrone County Council. He knew that the reasons put forward in opposition to the plans were weak and should not be allowed.

"I would like on behalf of the people to thank Mr. Armstrong for his support," he went on, and he also thanked Mr. Richard Morrison for the work which he had done.

TRIBUTE

A special tribute was paid to Mr. Ivan Morrison for preparing the plans for the hall, and on the request of Mr. Foster, Dr. Paisley presented him with the first volume of the expositions of Matthew Henry.

Dr. Paisley said he longed to see the day when Mr. Ivan Morrison would be employed full-time in the Lord's work.

Afterwards collection was taken up towards the outstanding debt on the-hall and later it was announced that 444 had been received, including a cheque for 125, Presented by Dr. Paisley on behalf of the Martyrs Free Presbyterian Church, Belfast, and 5O from the Omagh congregation.

In the course of his address Dr. Paisley said that Kilskeery would go down in history as the place where they had "marched in Kilskeery fashion" some years ago.

MARCHING

Proceeding, he said: "We are marching today, marching publicly and marching without apology. We are marching in the army of the King of Kings. The battle lines are drawn; the armies are engaged; we have heard the clarion call, Who is on the Lord's side?"

"God takes pleasure in the opening of this building today." Dr. Paisley told the congregation. "God has great things to do in Kilskeery. He is going to put a church and congregation in this area of Tyrone so the other congregations will have to look to their laurels when this church starts moving. There is going to be a moving of the spirit of God. God takes pleasure in this building and [9] nothing is going to stop Him. The message Of the Reformation will be hurled forth from here without any apology."

Dr. Paisley attacked the World Council of Churches for giving support to terrorists. Some of the money provided by the Council had been used to buy bullets that had laid waste Portuguese territory. Many of the grouts attending the IRA conference in Dublin had received money from the coffers of the World Council of Churches. That was what was happening and the ecumenical ministers talked about love and at the same time they were sponsoring those guilty of the worst atrocities across the world carried out by various guerrilla groups.

"It is not hard to know that this same Organisation in other countries is at work in our own country," he went on, "and if not directly, then indirectly the IRA is being sponsored by the World Council of Churches. And, of course, we have also the student movements subsidised by the world Council of Churches."

In conclusion, Dr. Paisley forecast that they were going to see great things happening in Kilskeery.

After the ceremony, everyone was entertained to tea provided by the women of the Kilskeery congregation assisted by friends from the other Free Presbyterian congregations.

Beware of the Old Prophet of Bethel: A Sermon preached by DR. IAN R. K. PAISLEY

We want to look at the character, at the Crime and at the Condemnation of the man of God from - Judah.

This man of God had a commission from the Lord in a day of political and religious unrest in the history of God's earthly people.

Solomon died. Rehoboam came to the throne. Rehoboam adopted a wrong philosophy. There was a rebellion. Jeroboam led this rebellion and became king of Israel. The kingdom divided into the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom of Judah. Then Jeroboam, in order to reinforce his hold upon the people, decided that they should not go yearly to the Passover at Jerusalem for if they did their hearts would return to their former [10] allegiance to the house of David. So he decided to set up a counterfeit religion. He decided to erect counterfeit altars. He decreed to have a religion established that was peculiar to the northern kingdom. Now, of course in doing so he was rebelling against the Lord Jehovah.

On one special day when Jeroboam was going to dedicate his new altar at Bethel (and Bethel, of course, means the house of God - Not every place that calls itself the house of God is the house of God) God sent this man to do a job.

ONE: HIS CHARACTER

Now the first thing I want you to notice about his character was that he stood up to the test of danger. It was no easy job to go and cry against the apostate king. Those of us who have cried out against apostasy know that! it was no easy job to cry against apostate priests. We have cried out against apostate clergymen and we know that it is no easy task. It was no easy job to defy the common people. If you turn back to a previous chapter, I Kings chapter twelve and verse eighteen, there was a man who went to do a job for king Rehoboam called Adoram, and when he went to the northern kingdom they stoned him to death. So this was a dangerous task.

I want to say that those of us who are called to witness for Christ in this twentieth century will find it is a dangerous task we are called to do. We live in a day. of religious and political agitation and upheaval through the world, and God's man never had a palatable or pleasing message to proclaim.

This man of God stood up to the danger test. He was prepared, no matter what happened to him personally, to discharge God's commission.

THE TEST OF REVENGE

The second thing we notice about his character is that he stood up to the test of revenge.

You see when he delivered the message the king said "Seize him! Arrest him!" But when the king put forth his hand God smote the hand and he was unable to do the job he wanted to do.

Thank God, when we are serving God, He can restrain the hands of evil men who would reach out after us. We have proved that in our ministry. Men reached out their hands against us and God paralysed their hands. They could not do the job which they wanted to do.

The old king prayed and said, "Call upon God for me." I want you to notice he did not say, "Call upon my God." He had set up a false religion and a false altar, but he acknowledged that there was only one true God.

I tell you when men really get into a corner and their backs are against the wall they do not then call upon the gods of apostasy. They call upon the true and living God.

There is a story told during the war of an old sergeant standing in a canteen calling for liquor and as he called for liquor he shouted "There is no God!" There was a young soldier boy in the canteen and he looked at him, and he [11] said to him, "Sergeant, if there is no God who were you praying to at Dunkirk, I saw you on your knees. If there is no God who were you praying to?"

I tell you when men get their backs against the wall, when they come to the end of themselves then they know there is a God.

That prophet from Judah, the man of God, could well have said "You can have your paralysed hand, I am not going to lift a hand to help you." But his character stood up to the test of revenge. He prayed for his enemies!

It is our duty, no matter how we have been hated and maltreated by men, that when they ask for our prayers and our help, we give them our prayers and our help. The test of true sterling Christian character is to stand up to the test of revenge.

THE TEST OF FELLOWSHIP

I want you to notice that he stood up to the test of fellowship. This is the big test today, is it not? Who shall we fellowship with? The king said to the man of God, "Come home!" Look at it! That is what the pope is saying to us: "Come home you separated brethren, Come home." That is what the whole World Council of Churches is about: "Why do we not come under the same roof and why do we not refresh ourselves together?" they say.

The prophet's character stood up to the fellowship test! God said "You will not eat bread nor drink water, nor go under a roof in this apostate place. You have neither part nor lot in this thing." So he stood up to the fellowship test.

THE TEST OF BRIBERY

He stood up to the bribery test. The old king said "I will reward you." There is many a man in Ulster today and he is in the apostasy. It is so many thousands of pounds a year and a house which keeps him in apostasy. Bribery! But the man that has character says "No, I will not take your bribes. I will not have fellowship with you. I have no feelings of revenge against you. There is no hatred against you, but I hate the things you do and detest your evil practices." This man had character. God give us the character that this man had.

TWO: HIS CRIME

Let us look at his crime. We come now to the sad part of the story. "Him that standeth take heed lest he fall." Every fundamentalist preacher across the world should read this chapter and ask God to apply its warning to his heart. Every fundamentalist church, that takes a separatist stand against the awful apostasy of our day, should read this chapter and heed its awful warning.

Alas, we have the sad crime of this man.

We had an illustration of this when we travelled to New Luce. We saw the old parish church where Alexander Peden ministered. The day that the drunken Parliament of Edinburgh closed the pulpits of Scotland's Kirks to the [12] Covenanters, old Peden shut the door of his pulpit and took his Bible and knocked three times upon the closed door and said "I arrest thee that no one enters thee except he enters as I have done by the door." Yes and for the whole time of the covenanting struggle the pulpit of Alexander Peden was vacant.

No apostate curate under Sharp ever entered that pulpit to preach another gospel. But in the passing of the years the Church of Scotland had its great apostasy and then its disruption under Chalmers. Chalmers came out and formed the Free Church of Scotland and in that village I took the people to see the Peden Memorial Free Church.

A SAD STORY

The Free Church of Scotland succumbed to the apostasy with the United Presbyterians. The large group of the Free Church, as it then was, united with the United Presbyterians, has gone back into the Church of Scotland. There is still a remnant of the Free Church of Scotland witnessing but the vast majority went back to the Church of Scotland. What is the result? That Free Church in New Luce is now closed. It is boarded up, the weeds growing round it and the windows bricked up. A silent, eloquent and sad commentary on compromise.

The best preacher can fall. The greatest fundamentalist leader can compromise.

HE STOPPED ON THE WAY BACK

Let us look at this book of I Kings chapter thirteen. What did this man of God do? The first thing, "He stopped on the way back," that was his crime. God said "Keep going," but this man stopped. I believe that he stopped to consider how well he had done. I think he said "I have done well. I went down among the king and the priests and the people. I really rebuked them."

He smiled as he reflected "The old king put out his hand and he could not touch me. The altar was broken and the ashes were poured out. I did a good job!

Then he said to himself "Ay, and when the king offered me money, I would not take it. I would not go to his palace or fellowship with him."

My friend, if you stop in the path of duty and start to think about your achievements, you are ready for a fall.

"He stopped on the way back."

HE LINGERED

Then the next thing he did, he lingered too near the place of temptation. You know friend, when temptation comes you have to flee from it. You have to put the greatest distance between yourself and the temptation. "Flee youthful lusts." We have to flee away from the place of temptation. This man stopped too near the dangerous place.

I tell you friend, there are many Christians who are too near the world for safety. There are many Christians who are too near to evil practices for safety.

This man of God lingered too near the place of temptation.

HE ENTERED INTO DIALOGUE WITH AN APOSTATE

I want you to look down that chapter. You know the basis of dialogue is this, [13] that I will admit that a Roman Catholic priest, a modernist preacher, and a liberal professor are true Christians, that they are in the same position and on the same plain as I am. So I can talk to them. It is not debate. Debate is a different thing. When I debate with a person I debate because I disagree with him. I condemn his Position. I seek to publicly refute it and overthrow it and if needs be convince him of his error. Dialogue starts with the idea that we are all Christians, we are all servants of Christ, all churches are part of Christ's body, and so we should discuss together.

DIALOGUE

Look at this chapter thirteen of I Kings verse eighteen. The old apostate said to the man of God: "I am a prophet also as thou art." That is the basis of dialogue. "We are all together in this, I am a prophet just like you." He could not have been a prophet just like the man of God. If he had been a man of God there would have been no need for the man of God to travel from Judah. If he had been a faithful man of God, God would have used him.

We have the dialogue! Once you start to hob nob with the agents of Satan you are going to be in real trouble. Once you start to try and find some common ground between the doctrines of hell and the doctrines of heaven you are in trouble.

The mighty man that did the job for God started to dialogue with apostasy. How sad this story is.

DISOBEYED GOD

Then you will notice he disobeyed God's command. God said to him "Go and cry out against the altar." And he did it. God said "I will show you a sign, the altar will be rent and the ashes poured out." And God did that. God signally owned him when He heard his prayer and healed the king's arm.

Now this old apostasy comes and look what he says, (mark it well), verse eighteen, "An angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying," This angel, he contended, said the very opposite to what God said! That is what is happening today. Men are looked upon as angels. The Bible says that even Satan himself will be transformed into an angel of light. Yes, Sir! They come and tell us to do the very opposite to what the Bible says.

This Bible tells me: "Come out from among them and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you."

The men in the apostasy say "Stay in. Do not leave the churches. We will get so many young evangelical preachers into them and we will clean them up." They have been doing that for fifty years, and they are more filthy now than ever they were!

You go out today and try to lift yourself with your own shoe laces and see how far you will lift yourself. God says "Come out." They say "Stay in." Who is right? "Oh, but an angel of the Lord has spoken to us. These, Mr. Paisley, are great men. And God is blessing them and they are winning souls. They are [14] wonderful people!" The angel has told them to do the very opposite to what God says! They say "I am the same sort of preacher as you, come back to my house. Let us all fellowship together.

BILLY GRAHAM

We had this at Billy Graham's Switzerland conference. I got a copy of what he said. Billy Graham said he had the warmest relations with the World Council of Churches. Men in the World Council of Churches say that Jesus Christ is the bastard child of Joseph and Mary. He has the warmest relations with these men. Men like Nels Ferre who say that Jesus Christ was the bastard child of Mary and an unknown mercenary German soldier, and Billy Graham has the warmest relationships with the World Council of Churches. Let me tell you friend, I have no relationship with the World Council of Churches' This church has no relationship with it. I would not even give them a spider's web in this church. We are outside this apostasy and, please God, we will be outside it forever, God helping us.

Then Billy Graham says that there is evidence that the Holy Spirit is working across the world today, and that the three evidences of the Holy Spirit's workings are, number one, the great change in the Roman Catholic Church.

Of course, the old whore of Babylon has had a facelift. Of course, she has put on the nice gloves on her bony, persecuting hands. The hand that put the Reformers to the death and the hand that persecuted the Martyrs: It is not the old bloody hand outwardly, it is a velvet hand today; a nice velvet hand of friendship.

"Let us all be together. Let bygones be bygones!" That is not what the saints say under the throne, Sir! Do you know what the martyrs cry out to God? "How long O Lord Holy and True, wilt Thou not avenge our blood upon the earth." These people that talk about letting bygones be bygones are emissaries of the devil. "No peace with Rome till Rome makes peace with God!" That is what J. C. Ryle said, the first Protestant Bishop of Liverpool. And Rome will never make peace with God!

They say there is a great change in the Roman Catholic Church. And at Billy Graham's conference the Roman Catholic priests were there "taking part in evangelising or finding a way to evangelise the world." So you can blaspheme the finished work of Christ in the Mass on Sunday and be with Billy Graham on Monday, eating and drinking and having fellowship.

Billy Graham then went on to say that the Charismatic movement was another evidence.


THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT

I have been making a study of this movement. The leader of it in this city, a Roman Catholic, says in his book that he got the Holy Spirit at a Pentecostal meeting but it has made him a better Roman Catholic than ever he was before. He goes to the mass more regularly. He counts his beads more often, and he [15] sprinkles himself with holy water more often than ever before. I want to say, friend, that the Charismatic movement is the movement of the false prophet leading people out to worship another Christ. Some of God's people are so confused. I am not confused, I have the Word of God! I am not a bit confused about it! If a man tells me he has got the Holy Ghost and power and disobeys the Holy Ghost's Book, then he is a liar. Yes, and what he has is not the Holy Ghost but another spirit. It is as plain as that. The Holy Ghost never leads you to disobey God's Word. Now get It straight!

"JESUS FREAKS"

These "Jesus freaks" with their long hair! They are a sign the Holy Ghost is working, according to Billy Graham. Well I want to tell you Sir, when God works in your heart He will not only wash your heart but He will make you ready for soap and water. You will get your outside washed as well, and you will get your hair cut in a reasonable length, and to look respectable and decent in God's house. Let me tell you that!

MY FATHER'S PREACHING

I remember my father preaching and the more I think of my father's ministry the more I realise what it has meant to me in my ministry. A woman came to his tent meetings and she was the dirtiest woman in the neighbourhood. She was a monument to her own filth as was her house and her children. They had layers of filth on their faces like the skins of an onion. Yes! One night this woman got saved. And I remember after my father led her to the Lord, he said, "Now dear woman if God has really washed the inside you have got to wash the outside." He said "I will supply you with soap and you start scrubbing your house from top to bottom, and scrub your family from top to bottom." Yes and she said "I will do it."

That woman's home became proverbial in the neighbourhood. It became the cleanest and most spotless home in the locality. God saved her husband and her family as well. That is real New Testament Christianity. It works! It works!

The Lord Jesus does not make a freak of you when He saves you. You are clothed and in your right mind at the feet of Jesus. That is what the Lord does when He receives you.

THE DECEIVER

That old apostate in I Kings chapter thirteen tried to link himself up with the man of God. He said to him "I am like you. I am in the same business as you. I am a preacher like you. You just come back with me." What did the man of God do? He disobeyed God's command.

The saddest thing you can do is to disobey God and put yourself outside God's blessing. I must be careful that I obey the Lord no matter who I offend. I have offended thousands of people in my ministry, and I will probably offend a few people here this morning. It will not worry me, I will eat a good dinner when [16] I go home. I must not disobey God. It must not be done.


HE RETRACED HIS STEPS

The man of God out of Judah returned again. He retraced his steps. There is nothing so sad as to see a preacher or a church retracing its steps. Once it stood for God but now it is weakened. Once it would not tolerate worldliness but now it has weakened. Once it insisted on separation but now it has compromised. There is nothing as sad as that! The man of God turned again. When I studied this chapter I discovered that he failed in the very place he should have triumphed.

FALSE GODS BURIED UNDER THE OAK TREE

"He sat down under an oak on the way to Bethel." Under an oak: in the scriptures there are five references to the oak before this time. The man of God knew about these things. If he is a man of God he knows something about the history of God's people.

The first mention of the oak tree on the way to Bethel you will find in Genesis 35 : 4: And when Jacob was going to Bethel he said to his family "Get me all your false gods and all your earrings, and I am going to dig a grave." And he buried them under the oak tree.

When the man of God from Judah sat down under the oak tree as a man who knew the scriptures, he remembered that before he could work for God he had to have a clean-cut separation. Idolatry in all its forms must be buried under the oak tree.

DEBORAH BURIED UNDER THE OAK TREE

Secondly, in the same chapter of Genesis and in verse eight - Deborah, Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak. Let me tell you something, my friend, Deborah was the last link with the past. She was the woman that came all the way from the house of Rebekah, the idolatrous house of Bethuel and Laban. The last link with the past was cut when Deborah was buried. And that prophet as he sat there ought to have been thinking that under the oak tree the last link with the old has got to be cut.

JOSHUA AT THE OAK TREE

Thirdly, He must have thought about Joshua 24: 26; where at this very place or near to it there was a stone set up under the oak tree, a witness to the people that they ought to obey God's Word. And Joshua said "This stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the Words of the Lord which He spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you." And that should have strengthened the man of God to obey God's Word.

Continued next issue